Ever since the press conference held after Bridgegate broke in full, Chris Christie hasn't said a whole lot about the scandals surrounding his administration. According to The (Newark) Star-Ledger, there's a method to his madness. Apparently Christie hopes the feeding frenzy will just die out on its own.
Usually, Christie ignores queries shouted by reporters during awkward dashes from his black SUV to the fundraisers he headlines for fellow Republican governors across the nation, or between meetings in swanky hotels where he’s made speeches, as state troopers and aides swirl around him.Hoping that the press will just lose interest is a pretty tall order in a state where your local media is owned by people who are willing to commit the resources needed to cover local news effectively. Especially when the "local media" includes newspapers from New York City and Philadelphia.
Sometimes a reporter will be on the receiving end of an icy stare. Other times, he admonishes. "What don’t you get about me not talking to you?" he told one reporter. More than once, Christie has suggested the media is fixated on his troubles and the public is far less interested.
The strategy seems to serve two purposes: minimize his scandals and move on.
"I don’t think it’s a question of whether it’s effective, it’s the best option open to him at his point," said Carl Golden, who was press secretary to Govs. Thomas H. Kean and Christie Whitman.
Another longtime consultant, Mark Behan, notes that Christie seems to be trying to bypass the media altogether in favor of taking his message directly to the people via town halls. But in this age of wall-to-wall coverage, it's not entirely certain that this is a good long-term strategy. Additionally, according to Rob Duffey of the Working Families Alliance--whose student organizer was among the protesters at a Mount Laurel town all--it looks like Christie is holding most of his town halls in Republican-friendly territory. Shades of Bush 43's "bubble boy" strategy?